RoHS question

Barry Watzman Watzman at neo.rr.com
Thu Dec 14 07:03:53 CST 2006


Almost all new equipment has to comply with "RoHS" (Reduction of Hazardous
Substances) requirements, which among other things means it's made with
lead-free solder.  Enforcement is stronger in Europe than in the US, but in
any case industry is cleary moving in that direction even when and where not
absolutely required by law.

Question:  If one is repairing RoHS compliant equipment, with respect to
functionality only is there a problem with using conventional tin/lead
solder?  I'm not asking if it's legal or "environmentally friendly", I'm
asking if mixing the lead free solder and conventional tin/lead solder will
cause functional problems (for example, any kind of problems similar to
those which we used to see when someone repaired electronic equipment using
plumbing acid flux solder).

Also, if one wants to acquire and use RoHS compliant solder, are there any
changes that someone accustomed to conventional tin/lead solder needs to
make to their soldering technique?  And I guess I should also ask the
reverse question from the paragraph above:  Are there any issues in using
lead-free RoHS compliant solders on equipment originally built from tin/lead
solder?

Are there any other implications of RoHS that a casual classic computer and
electronics enthusiast should know about, in either direction?






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